Feminism in Kids' Shows: Wow! Wow! Wubbzy!
So I will kick off the kids’ television critiques with a show that most of you probably have never seen: Wow! Wow! Wubbzy!
Overview: Wow Wow Wubbzy is a show about a curious and energetic six year old boy named Wubbzy who has strange adventures with his friends Walden, Widget, and Daizy. The show runs about 30 minutes, which is divided into two stories and supplemented with small jokes and a song.
First, let me just say that there is so much that I like about this show! For starters, not every character is a rigid stereotype of what a boy or a girl should be. While each character is cis-identified, there are very few cisgendered things that are enforced by the show. For example, Wubbzy has been shown wearing tutus, sailor suits, and rainbow afros, just to name a few things. Similarly, each character has been shown to engage in a number of activities like having tea parties, playing kickety-kick ball, and various competitions and races.
Secondly, unlike most shows where the main character is a cis-boy, there is more than one female present on the show and each of them has her own distinct personality.
Widget (the first female character introduced) is not just there to fill space. She’s a mechanic and an inventor who often creates tools and vehicles used by characters in the show. Like everyone else, she isn’t perfect: sometimes her inventions go haywire and she has dealt with depression in a previous episode. But most of the time, she is a quick thinker with an upbeat personality. What makes Widget special is that she has different aspects to her personality. In one episode, she may be searching for her “wiggle wrench” to create a new invention, yet in another she might be trying to become a ballerina or a pop star.
Daizy, on the other hand, is a girly girl at heart. She is always shown in a tutu. Her favorite hobbies are gardening and dancing. She serves as a voice of reason for the more eccentric characters. Daizy doesn’t always follow the “girly girl” archetype but her character isn’t as fluid as Widget.
Finally, the overall message of the show is very positive: Everyone is different. Each of the characters on Wow Wow Wubbzy have something that makes them special and they don’t always conform to what is considered the norm. This is often parodied by a random side character calling something ridiculous or strange on the show “kooky.” The creators are telling children that it doesn’t matter what people think of you: everyone is different. People may not agree with you or do the same things that you do but that’s fine.
And, as a treat for reading all of the wordiness, here’s the “Kooky” song from Wow Wow Wubbzy!